Posted by: jkirkby8712 | December 22, 2010

Sunday, 19 December 2010 – Tony back on the ‘attack’

Perhaps it’s part of a world thing, this rather unusually cool Summer we have begun – over in the northern hemisphere, in both Europe and the USA, they seem to be experiencing a severe early approach to their Winters, so in this part of the world, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at the strange affects of the current weather patterns. Anyway, gardens and lawns here are growing and flourishing at a much faster rate than twelve months ago – too fast in fact with respect to the latter. A note I make, whilst just having been advised that my lawn mower which I lent to the ‘other half’ of the family a few days ago, seems to have stopped working, and has not been returned to me. I really would have liked things to have been looking just a touch  tidier out front, as Christmas Day approaches. It seems like a new mower might be on the expense agenda – after the last service, my ‘mechanic’ suggested that the machine was getting to the point where replacement was becoming a more economical option than further maintenance.  Why do mechanical innovations always have to eventually ‘wear out’??

I notice amongst my regular messages from the Liberal Party that our esteemed Opposition leader, Tony Abbott is not resting on his laurels, and just before Christmas, is back on the ‘attack’ against the ‘new’ Labor Government at the Federal Level.  There was a column in the ‘Australian’ newspaper a few days ago, where I see he was already  highlighting what he refers to as the continuing failure of the Gillard Government. Fair enough, I guess that is his job, but I do much prefer the positive over the negative approach, and I think that despite the ‘negative’ approach to this particular contribution, there was more of an element of the Coalition’s [Opposition]  plans for next year. Here’s a brief précis of his comments, as reported to me from the Liberal website on the 15th December.

He said:

“Labor is in government but it’s far from clear whether anyone is actually in power. There is little evidence a government that had notoriously “lost its way” has actually found it again. If anything, it seems to be going from bad to worse.   “The Prime Minister’s declaration that 2011 would be the year of “decision and delivery” represents the triumph of hope over experience. The worse the government gets, the more important it is that the opposition be a credible alternative. When the government is the despair even of its supporters, the opposition carries the hopes of nearly everyone.

“Our task is to use the coming year to establish political ownership over moves towards lower taxes, fairer welfare, better services and stronger borders by showing that they are backed by well-developed policies that could be swiftly and competently implemented.”   People who don’t normally support the Coalition have to believe that a change of government would be good for the system. The opposition can’t run the country from the wrong side of the parliament but it needs to show leadership for people at least to believe that change for the better is possible. During the election campaign, I said that voters who wanted to “end the waste, repay the debt, stop the big new taxes and stop the boats” had to change the government. The positive aspect of this refrain was a commitment to better services, lower taxes and stronger borders.  The Coalition had strong policies to inject more community control into the running of schools and hospitals, to move from a welfare state to a participation society and to take practical steps to improve the environment. These policies addressed systemic problems in ways that reflected liberal and conservative values and will be fundamental to our appeal at the next election”.

True enough Tony, in your suggestion that the Coalition can’t run the country from the Opposition benches, and your intimation that the people must be able to be convinced that a change of government will be good for the system and nation overall.  I actually feel that the Opposition has been ‘sitting back’ a little more in the past few months, not quite as much on the attack as in the twelve months leading up to the August election, although admittedly, the seemingly few weeks since then that our politicians have actually spent in Parliament House may also be a contributing factor to that impression. Or maybe our Federal leaders are taking a leaf out of the approach of the successful Victorian Liberals in the recent State election – they did not really stand out as an alternative government prior to the election, was almost a case of coming from behind in the ‘last quarter’ with a leader who at first impression to many, including myself, appeared to lack the necessary drive and ‘attack’ mechanism to take charge of a government. He just remained ‘himself’ throughout that campaign, and it seemed to have worked, though I guess time will tell over the next four years if the Victorian electorate made the right choice.

Mind you, Tony has not gone right back into his shell, as these words from his article suggest – “the Prime Minister’s declaration that 2011 would be the year of “decision and delivery” represents the triumph of hope over experience. The worse the government gets, the more important it is that the opposition be a credible alternative. When the government is the despair even of its supporters, the opposition carries the hopes of nearly everyone”.

Interesting to see how those words and methology change after the period of the Christmas & January break  – while government continues of course, the thrust and bustle of the ‘parliamentary’ side of politics sits in limbo for a few weeks, again!

Meanwhile, the 3rd Cricket Test finished today, almost 2 days early, with a ‘surprising’ win to the Australians – certainly, early on Day 2 [Friday] it looked almost a certainty that the English were heading for a second win and the Test series, but some great Australian bowling, which continued on into the English second innings last night and this morning, turned that around very quickly. At least now, as we head towards the traditional Boxing Day test here in Melbourne this coming weekend, the series remains open to victory by either side.  Final scores in the 3rd Ashes Test saw:   Australia: 268 and 309 defeated England: 187 and 123

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